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Kansas State University
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Source: Warren J. White, 785-532-6349, wwhite@k-state.edu;
and Linda Teener, 785-539-8763, lteener@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Rosanna Vail, 785-532-2720, rvail@k-state.edu

Friday, Aug. 6, 2010

LEARNING PROGRAM AT K-STATE HELPS STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES ENJOY MORE CAMPUS LIFE

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University is offering a new program to help adults with developmental disabilities experience more campus life.

The Extending College Education for Lifelong Learning program, or EXCELL, is funded by the Kansas Health Policy Authority with fiscal management by the Wamego School District, USD 320. The program is part of an area consortium that includes K-State and other local entities serving adults with special needs.

EXCELL offers personal enrichment and life-enhancing classes to students 18 years and older who may not otherwise be able to participate in the college environment.

"The classes range from sign language to dancing, computer skills and different kinds of games," said Warren J. White, professor of special education, counseling and student affairs at K-State and EXCELL co-founder and volunteer. "The program emphasizes recreation and social development just as much as academics and pre-vocational skills, which excites these students as they spend their six weeks on the K-State campus."

UFM Community Learning Center in Manhattan is the campus facilitator for the program. EXCELL provides supportive, academically sound, pre-vocational classroom experiences to help students develop basic life, social and leisure skills. It's also an opportunity for students to form lifelong friendships.

"Watching the EXCELL students participate in this program has been a joy," said Linda Teener, executive director of the UFM Community Learning Center. "They're proud to be taking classes at K-State, eager to participate and clearly benefit from both the academic and social opportunities the program provides."

Community members can get involved by becoming EXCELL program instructors, teaching classes part-time. K-State College of Education students also can volunteer as ambassadors to assist program instructors and students who need extra support.

The next EXCELL session begins Sept. 11 on the K-State campus in Manhattan. For more information about the program, contact White at 785-532-6349 or wwhite@k-state.edu. Learn more about the UFM Community Learning Center at http://www.tryufm.org.